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Wen's European visits to be "trip of confidence", says Chinese official
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07:30, January 23, 2009

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Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming European visit would show China's confidence to work with European nations and organizations to push forward the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership and deepen the bilateral cooperation, said a Foreign Ministry official here on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that Premier Wen would make official visits to Switzerland, Germany, the EU headquarters, Spain and Britain from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. He will also attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hongbo characterized Premier Wen's tour as a "trip of confidence", saying it set out China's determination to stick to reform and opening up, boost economic development, deepen Sino-EU cooperation and join hands with the international community to tide over the financial crisis.

He also highlighted three goals of Premier Wen's visit, which were prompting the international community to have more confidence and jointly cope with the financial crisis, expanding strategic consensus and deepen mutual cooperation with these European countries and pushing forward the in-depth development of Sino-EU relations.

During the visit, Premier Wen will meet or hold talks with the state leaders and officials of the four European countries, Wu said, citing Wen's scheduled talks with President of the Switzer Confederation Hans-Rudolf Merz, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Chairman of the WEF Klaus Schwab.

It is Premier Wen's first visit to Switzerland since he assumed the post. Wen will give a speech at the annual meeting of the WEF in Davos, where he will elaborate on the measures China has taken to deal with the financial crisis.

In Germany, Premier Wen will meet President Horst Koehler and Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He will attend a forum on Sino-German economic and technical cooperation and deliver a speech. The cooperation of the bilateral real economy will be a priority of this visit, said Wu.

At the EU headquarter, Premier Wen will exchange views with Barroso and the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on working out the guiding principle of the Sino-EU relations.

In Spain, Premier Wen will meet King Juan Carlos and hold a symposium with the local cultural group and student representatives. This is the first Spanish visit in 17 years for a Chinese premier.

Britain is the last leg of Wen's trip. It is a return visit for Brown's China visit last year, featuring the theme of enhancing bilateral financial cooperation. In Britain, Wen will have broad contacts with British people from the circles of politics, business and finance. He will also give a speech at the University of Cambridge.

Wu said China is negotiating with the four European countries and the European Union on releasing joint documents on strengthening financial cooperation and lodging a package of policy tools.

In addition, China will sign with these countries a series of documents on cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, investment, energy, technology, culture and education, he added.

Source: Xinhua

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